Des Moines Music Coalition educates artists through Music University; SowerFest returns this weekend; Coverage of Freakabout, American Pinup, Kick

Des Moines Music Coalition educates artists through Music University

In an effort to provide local musicians with career resources, the Des Moines Music Coalition has announced the fourth annual Music University (MU) Conference and Showcase.

MU sessions are designed to connect local musicians with music industry experts and business leaders. Workshops, panels, and networking events are organized to jump-start new relationships and ideas and to help musicians build successful music careers in the Midwest.

This year’s conference — Saturday, Oct 1 — features a keynote speech and performance by Chicago hip-hop artist and peace activist FM Supreme, a speech by Music/City author Jonathan R. Wynn as well as a social empowerment workshop with Tom Tom Magazine creator Mindy Abovitz.

Des Moines Music Coalition is an HN kindred spirit in many ways. Founded in 2005, it is a nonprofit committed to building a stronger, more diverse music community (albeit within a city, rather than entire state). Its vision is to make Des Moines a nationally recognized music city.

Education is just one of the ways it aims to accomplish its mission. It also focuses on production and promotion of live events (including a now-massive 80/35 Festival in downtown Des Moines), advocacy for musicians and the Iowa music industry and collaboration with local venues and community organizations, per its website.

Conference and showcase passes can be found here, and include various levels of access. RSVP here.

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SowerFest returns this weekend

This weekend, a plethora of Lincoln’s Americana acts will converge on Duffy’s Tavern for SowerFest, the annual showcase hosted by Lincoln-based Americana label Sower Records.

The two-night concert event features many of the usual suspects in Jack Hotel, A Ferocious Jungle Cat, Andrew von Kampen, Emily Bass, Evan Bartels, Matt Cox and Hana Zara. Sets will happen both inside and in the back lot. The Bean Bag Toss competition returns for a second year, starting Saturday at 2 p.m. (enter by emailing See the complete Friday and Saturday schedule below.

Talk about a busy year for Sower Records, as many of the artists playing its showcase have either released new material recently or have it in the works. Jack Hotel and Matt Cox both have full-lengths out on the label, and The Wildwoods, Orion Walsh and AFJC released theirs independently. Von Kampen, Zara, Bartels and label boss Mike Semrad all have forthcoming records.

Of note, Lincoln bookstore A Novel Idea celebrates its 25th Anniversary this Friday, and The Bottle Tops will help pay tribute with a Duffy’s backlot show from 7-10 p.m. The main event begins in earnest at 10 p.m. RSVP here.


Inside Stage– 10-30-11:15 Dan Tedesco
Inside Stage – 11:45-12:30 Lil’ Darlin
Inside Stage – 12:45-1:30 Magma Melodier

Outside Stage – 7-10 The Bottle Tops
Outside Stage – 10:30-11:30 Hangin’ Cowboys
Outside Stage – 12-1 Evan Bartels and the Stoney Lonesomes


Inside Stage – 4-4:30 Kalin Krohe and the Riverfront Boys
Inside Stage – 4:45-5:15 Scott Severin
Inside Stage – 5:30-6 Root Marm Chicken Farm Jug Band
Inside Stage – 6:15-6:45 Sas
Inside Stage – 7-7:45 Dr John Walker w/ Wendy Bantam
Inside Stage – 8-8:45 McGovern String Band
Inside Stage – 9-9:45 Orion Walsh
Inside Stage – 10-10:45 The InBetweens
Inside Stage – 11-11:45 Andrea Von Kampen
Inside Stage – 12-1 Jack Hotel

Outside Stage – 4:30-5:15 The Wildwoods
Outside Stage – 5:45-6:30 Gabe Nelson with Pants
Outside Stage – 6:45-7:30 Hana Zara
Outside Stage – 7:45-8:30 Gerardo Meza
Outside Stage – 8:45-9:30 Matt Cox Band
Outside Stage – 9:45-10:30 Mike and the Likes
Outside Stage – 11-12 Emily Bass and the Near Miracle
Outside Stage – 12:30-1:30 A Ferocious Jungle Cat

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Coverage of Freakabout, American Pinup, Kick

HN multimedia intern Lauren Farris went to Duffy’s Tavern last night, where Lincoln rock band Freakabout made its emphatic return from a month-long tour with New Jersey’s American Pinup. The two made fast friends last year and have been touring on-and-off with each other ever since. Minneapolis trio Kick added to the energy as well, flying all around the Duffy’s stage room.

If you missed Freakabout last night, they play KZUM’s showcase at the same venue for the first night of Lincoln Calling (Thursday, Oct 6) with AZP, Walk By Sea, The Hottman Sisters, Thirst Things First, Ron Wax and Laughing Falcon. See the full schedule and grab weekend and single-day passes here.

See Farris’s photos below:


American Pinup


Photos by Lauren Farris

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Lincoln Calling seeks volunteers

Speaking of Lincoln Calling, HN is looking for volunteers to help produce the downtown festival’s 13th annual run. In exchange for working two four-hour shifts, you’ll receive one three-day general admission pass, one t-shirt and the opportunity to help grow a nonprofit festival.

Apply here by Monday, Sept 26 for first-come, first-served jobs in ticketing, hospitality, runners, site build/tear down, merchandise, stage crew, security and more. Individual jobs will be assigned as needed for work pre, during and post-festival. Applicants must be 18 years of age by October 6, 2016. Read the document describing duties and conditions here, and send any questions to

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Find a listing of tonight’s shows at our statewide calendar here. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, email us at, leave it in the comments or add it yourself via the contribute feature here.

Musicians: have an upcoming release, tour, or other news to share? Email us at